Someone Like You
Perhaps the only prospect more harrowing than yet another cutesy, Nora Ephron-perpetrated romantic comedy is finding a film that merely aspires to the preciousness of Ephron-style yuppie romance. That's certainly the case with Someone Like You, which follows in the footsteps of the sluggish blockbuster What Women Want in offering an Ephronized look at how the love of the right woman can redeem even the most primordial man. In a grating feature-length tribute to the comic stylings of Meg Ryan, made even more so by a preponderance of shrill voiceover narration, Ashley Judd stars as a spunky, adorable pixie in the employ of leftist talk-show host Ellen Barkin. Apparently unaware that she's allowed to date people outside her circle of coworkers, Judd enters a whirlwind, montage-assisted fling with handsome but distant Greg Kinnear, who breaks it off suddenly, leaving her in a deep funk. Desperate to make Kinnear jealous, Judd moves in with manly coworker Hugh Jackman, a shameless womanizer who nevertheless could be just the fellow to mend her broken heart. Like many asinine romantic comedies, Someone Like You improves in its second half, as the wisecracks and nails-on-chalkboard narration of the first hour give way to earnest but bearable scenes of drama and romance. Ironically, it's during one of these ostensibly dramatic scenes that Someone Like You scores its sole, wholly unintentional laugh, courtesy of a fevered, rambling, televised monologue in which Judd reaches a barely coherent epiphany regarding her romantic prospects in front of millions of understandably confused viewers. The usually impressive Judd gives the worst performance of her career as Someone Like You's road-show Meg Ryan, but Marisa Tomei is saddled with the film's most obnoxiously overwritten Ephronisms as Judd's oppressively sassy best friend.